A Level English Literature offers you the opportunity to explore modern novels, classic poetry and plays with like-minded students. Characters are brought to life and analysed through discussion; fictional worlds are spread out like intricate maps to be navigated chapter by chapter and visits to the theatre bring play-scripts to life. You will learn how to unpick the ways in which stories are told, identifying ways in which the writer manipulates their readers and causes us to laugh, cry or gasp in wonder. Your analytical skills will develop, as well as your ability to express your ideas articulately.
Summary of course content
This qualification is linear and students will sit the A level exam at the end of their two year A level course
Paper 1: Literary genres – Aspects of Tragedy – assessed by a two and a half hour examination (closed book). You will study three texts (two plays and a novel). In the past we have studied texts such as: “Othello” by Shakespeare, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy
Paper 2: Texts and Genres – Elements of Political and Social Protest writing – assessed by a three hour exam (open book). You will study three texts (a play, a novel and a collection of poetry). In the past we have studied texts such as: “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini and “Songs of Innocence and Experience” by William Blake.
Paper 3: Non-exam assessment – Theory and Independence. This is a study of two texts: one poetry and one prose, informed by a study of the Critical Anthology. Students must produce two essays of 1250-1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical Anthology.
Where the course leads
A Level English Literature is extremely well regarded by top universities across the country. Many universities have English Literature on their ‘preferred A Level choices list’ as the skills you develop in this course will support many other analytical subjects at degree level. Studying this course at A level often leads students to studying subjects like English, Drama or Media Studies at university. Careers that lead on from our subject could include working in the media, editing or publishing, teaching or advertising.
Students must be eligible to follow the Route A Pathway. In addition students must achieve at least a C grade in both English Language and English Literature at GCSE; an interest in and love of reading extensively and a desire and willingness to be involved in group discussion. To be successful in our subject you will need to commit to the course and be willing to research, prepare ideas and practise essays in your free periods which will then be explored during subsequent lessons. Your ability to draw on your knowledge of a wide range of texts to support your analysis of the one being prepared in class will also be of benefit.
For further advice contact: Mr McNaughton
As many in our school community will remember, last autumn, a much-loved former student of Purbeck, Sophie Waylen, passed away during her first term at university. In addition to being an energetic, kind and wonderful role model to others, Sophie was an excellent student of English Language and English Literature at A Level. Last year, the school and Sophie’s family, decided to make an annual award for excellence in English,
We have been very privileged here at The Purbeck School to have received a wealth of quality entries for this year’s annual Poetry Prize. Inspired by National Poetry Day, the students composed imaginative and engaging pieces of writing presenting their own interpretations on the theme of vision. After reading and subjecting the entries to discourse, the judges have finally reached a decision. This year’s judges were Miss Cattano, Mr Tullett
To mark World Poetry Day, students were asked to find their poetic voice and contribute a line in a whole school poetry collaboration. Each tutor group reflected upon which lines best captured how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted and affected their school lives. The result was ‘Class of Covid’ a poem that brings together our students’ experiences of COVID-19 here at The Purbeck School.
We are now pleased to be able to announce the winners of the World Book Day competition: Congratulations to… Flo Treves – Year 7 for her wonderfully thematic reading of ‘Watership Down’: Will Summers Year 9: for his (rather sinister) recreation of Steven King’s ‘The Body’: Tonia Lamenyuy – Year 9 for some rather impressive photoshop
Despite our obvious separation from each other at the moment, it was wonderful to see how the pupils at The Purbeck School pulled together to celebrate World Book Day. We received hundreds of photographs from students and there is little doubt that our students are highly creative and have a passion for reading. We would like to thank anyone who took the time to send in a World Book Day